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Technical and Vocational Educators Conduct Exhibition

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Thursday, April 14, 2005 - Technical and Vocational Educators celebrated a week of activities (April 11th – 15th) in observance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Week. The activities spearheaded by the St. Lucia Technical and Vocational Educators Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Education started Monday April 14th with an exhibition at the Alliance Franciase building at Point Seraphine.

TVET refers to all forms and levels of education involving the study of areas of a technical and vocational nature. These include skill oriented areas such as craft, clothing and textiles, carpentry, home making and masonry.

The activities marking the week-long observance focused on the role of TVET in the changing social and economic Environment. The exhibition entitled “Masters at Work” which started the week, displayed the creativity and ability of TVET teachers.

President of the St. Lucia Technical and Vocational Educators Association Thomas Boulogne said the exhibition will set the pace for a change in public perception about TVET educators. A goal which he says is part of a bigger challenge which includes better training for TVET teachers and the recognition of their achievements.

“This exhibition of the work of our teachers is a means of demonstrating to the public what some of our professionals are capable of doing and also to help attract students to TVET. Our teachers are required to have the know-how and know-why in their respective areas of expertise, in order to help students develop appropriate competencies in occupational areas,” said Mr. Boulogne who is also Dean of the Division of Technical Education and Management Studies at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

Outgoing Chief Education Officer Fortuna Anthony-Husbands expressed satisfaction with gains made in changing people’s attitudes and thinking towards technical and vocational areas. She says when it comes to TVET there should be no separation of intelligence and skill.

“They thought you had to be dumb to do it. But now we see it calls for a lot more. It calls for the ability to translate content to show productivity and I think if we had caught onto that a lot earlier in the education system, we would have been able to combat illiteracy and numeracy problems that we have,” she said.

The education officials all agreed to the strengthening of support networks that will ensure challenges facing Technical and Vocational Education and Training are effectively addressed. They also agreed that better certification of TVET programmes should be pursued, so as to ensure St. Lucia is better able to compete when the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) comes into being.

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